We will tell you today about the genius Binyo Ivanov, who is almost our contemporary, yet so little known outside the professional literary circles.


“Bulgarian poetry has two geniuses. One is Binyo Ivanov, "said noted literary critic Encho Mutafov.


Boredom from communism generates great creative energy. This is most evident in the 70s and 80s of the last century in the work of this wonderful Bulgarian "sweet talker" Binyo Ivanov. Sitting next to the "greedy end of silence", where it is best for him, Binho spread in verse such fantastic paintings, in which there is no mention of the boring and gray socialist reality…

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"A medium-sized sand glow in the sky,
a raspberry bite, a stinged headscarf,
a broken bean scattered and a boat for the sea,
and radio in the sad neighbor's ear,
bye bye and all. " ("To the other grass")


How original Binho Ivanov's poetics can be judged is that when his debut poem comes to light, the respected writer Georgi Karaslavov promises a reward to the one who clarifies the meaning of the unmatched poems. "We didn't know that kind of poetry," recalls Encho Mutafov. Reading Binyo Ivanov, we unconsciously think of the immortal thought of Nicholas Gomez-Davila: "The great art of literature is based on the plastic image of the ineffable." around, as ordinary communist poets do. Instead, B. Ivanov reaches maximum plasticity in depicting the eternal, thus creating his own Cosmos and inviting us to testify to it. This is the real literature.

There is something secret in B. Ivanov's poems, for which straight-line minds have no senses. It is modern poetry, turned to the language and relying on its own discourse. Poetry for "feeling", not for "cleavage." It cannot be analyzed by "fragmenting" categories. The poet recreates things, giving them his own, new meaning. Binho's world is both enchanted and true.


"What can I say,
as I have been pierced,
root deep in the sky,
you went west…
Clothes, why did you go dark?
Bricks, beams, steps,
astonished handshakes?
Frog petals in the meadows,
i left above everything
your fingers are incurable,
I'll be back in a little while
with the storks repented! " (Morning and After)


Above all, the poetic world is dominated by mood. Bigno writes poems-metaphors. The storks are not accidentally repented. In other circumstances and in a different poetic mood, the storks would be described as belligerent, dejected or thoughtful. Binyo Ivanov is unusual not only as a poet but also as a person.


His life is as tragic as it is of most geniuses. He was born on 16 January 1939 in Barakovo village, Kocherinovo municipality. His mother is of Wallachian descent. "Binyo himself retains that specific accent in his speech," recalls critic Vladimir Trendafilov. Binyo Ivanov is not a typical poet. In the modern era, more and more literary students have a literary education while he is studying economics at the Karl Marx University. He works as an economist at a paper mill. In the meantime, he has published in specialized editions for literature: Rodna Rech magazine, Narodnaya Yale newspaper and others.

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His first poem was only released in 1973. It received controversial reviews. Moreover, for almost five years no publisher has been hired to launch a book with such "weird" poems. Not that Binho's poems are devoid of realism, just that their realism is very different from the socialist one and in some ways rivals it. The keen eye of the "straight line" guardians of the literature in HP Bulgaria immediately finds out that it is a challenge, and it is addressed in a debut book with poems by an 34-year-old economist at a factory.


"I have been eaten by a sharp rug
and a long mare song,
the moon knocks on a horseshoe -
a happiness toy discovered.
A broken beam is biting a cone
under moistened trees,

horses, forgot the grass,
with one foal and two bells. " (Svetlusha)

Binyo Ivanov in poetry is what Jordan Radichkov is for the prose of socialist Bulgaria. Both are original and challenging, and the strength of their works is rooted in their hidden meaning. It is interesting to draw a parallel between the title of the collection of short stories, Radichkov's Inverted Sky and Binyo's Inverted Sky, which contains "root" instead of "sun":


"Root deep in the sky, going west…"

"No one has planted you,
you are therefore a believer,
nobody watered you,
you are therefore a believer,
root deep in the sky. "


Over time, Binyo Ivanov established himself in the literary guild of Bulgaria. He became close with influential personalities of the rank of Lyubomir Levchev, Mikhail Nedelchev, Edwin Sugarev and Encho Mutafov. He publishes several poems. He also became famous for his public appearances. Translated into different languages, he gets fame and recognition, but that doesn't seem like enough to make him happy. Tortured by alcohol problems, Bigno leaves his family and lives alone. He died in 1998 at the age of 59.


From 2007, the National Literary Contest for Binho Ivanov poetry begins. There is a monument to the poet in the town of Kyustendil, and a street in the town of Kocherinovo bears his name. Binyo Ivanov bequeathes us his wonderful poems, which are so seamlessly sensed, that they outline the path to a poetic universe.

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